Design, fabrication and test of a vertical attitude takeoff and landing unmanned air vehicle.
Stoney, Robert Brian
Howard, Richard M.
Lindsey, Gerald H.
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Future fleet needs for real-time intelligence require an unmanned platform capable of operations from small surface combatants without the need for extensive support personnel or equipment and without causing disruption to the operations of the ship from which it operates. A candidate must not only takeoff and land vertically but also be capable of high forward flight speeds and efficient onstation performance. The design and initial fabrication of a Vertical Attitude Takeoff and Landing (VATOL) Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) airframe was completed at the Naval Postgraduate School. The vehicle, called Archytas, was a combination of two existing UAV's-- the AROD and Aquila--as well as locally manufactured components, including a canard support structure and wing spar. The objective of creating Archytas was to provide a proof-of-concept platform for research to explore performance trade-offs and stability augmentation. A three-degree-of-freedom simulation was used as the focus of the design efforts, to validate design decisions made in the fields of propulsion, aerodynamics, structures and flight mechanics. Engine tests were conducted to determine thrust and control power. Structural components were designed, fabricated and then tested, making modifications where necessary to ensure sufficient airframe strength. A longitudinal control system was designed, validated by simulation, and tested structurally.
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